Zimari offers a diverse culinary trip for those wanting to explore Greek - Cretan cuisine in Melbourne. The menu takes you through an array of the island’s traditional cuisine using time honoured techniques and flavours.
Zimari opened its doors last November and is owned by Yiannis Malindretos and his partner Melanie Raman, and is already (not surprisingly!), a neighbourhood favourite.
Warm garlic pita bread with oregano and olive oil, served with smoked eggplant dip, tzatziki, caviar roe dip and beetroot dip.
Our feast began with warm pita bread served with an interesting caviar roe dip; smoked eggplant dip , beetroot dip and tzatziki. These dips of bold and vibrant flavour combinations were each well formulated and delicious.
Cretan bruschetta with mizithra cheese and crushed tomato
The dakakia was a cracker. Made from crisp bread topped with chopped tomatoes, crumbled mizithra cheese and dried herbs and drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper, the dakakia was a perfectly light appetiser.
Ouzo prawns sautéed prawns in garlic, lemon, ouzo and avocado
The dish of Ouzo prawns were our favourite dish of the night. The prawns were very fresh and the garlic, lemon and ouzo provided punchy fragrant flavours while the avocado imparted a luxurious and rich touch.
From left: Spanakoptia – homemade pastry filled with spinach and mizithra cheese; Greek salad - lettuce, tomato, cucumber, pepper, onion, feta and olives
Spiced pulled pork, chickpeas coleslaw
The spiced pulled pork boasted a lovely and unique flavour. It was beautifully tender, courtesy of being slow cooked and was accompanied by a wonderfully fresh chickpeas coleslaw.
Beef cooked in red wine with pumpkin mash
Baked lamb - lamb marinated in orange juice and wine, served with oven potatoes
The outstanding baked lamb was expertly prepared. The lamb meat was incredibly tender and full of flavour. The perfectly baked oven potatoes were a more than willing canvas for the decadent flavours which we found both complex and interesting.
Sikalaki gliko (greek fig spoon sweet) and Portokalopita (orange and syrup cake with filo and yogurt)
Zimari’s rendition of the classic portokalopita was superb - crispy, syrupy, custardy and paired with sikalaki gliko enveloped in thick, creamy Greek yoghurt. It was a refreshingly zesty dessert that was made even better when paired with a couple of shots of Mastic Skinos.
Zimari pleases with simple foods, meticulously prepared with love.